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Free Content Malnutrition and socio-demographic factors associated with pulmonary tuberculosis in Timor and Rote Islands, Indonesia

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OBJECTIVE: To identify nutritional and socio-demographic factors for the development of tuberculosis (TB) in Timor and Rote Island, Indonesia, so that intervention programmes can be developed to address these factors.

METHODS: In a case-control study, we enrolled new sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients as cases, and neighbours matched for sex and age as controls. Data obtained included history of TB, socio-demographic factors and nutritional status.

RESULTS: In the study, 121 TB patients and 371 controls participated. The mean age was 30 years: 56.3% were male and 43.7% female. Of the TB patients, 87% had malnutrition compared to 33% among controls. The mean body mass index (BMI) of the patients was significantly lower than that of the controls (16.1 ± 2.3 kg/m2 vs. 19.4 ± 3.0 kg/m2). Factors associated with the development of TB were BMI (OR 0.5, 95%CI 0.4–0.6), family history of TB (OR 3.2, 95%CI 1.6–6.4), living in an extended family (OR 2.7, 95%CI 1.5–4.8), being non-indigenous to Timor and Rote Islands (OR 2.9, 95%CI 1.2–6.8) and being unemployed (OR 3.8, 95%CI 1.7–8.6).

CONCLUSION: Among patients with active pulmonary TB, the prevalence of malnutrition was very high. Malnutrition, which is a general problem for the whole community and particularly among people not indigenous to Timor and Rote, should be addressed in the fight against TB.
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Keywords: malnutrition; socio-demographic factors; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Medicine, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia; Regional Centre for Community Nutrition (RCCN), South-East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Regional Centre for Tropical Medicine (TROPMED) Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia 2: Regional Centre for Community Nutrition (RCCN), South-East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Regional Centre for Tropical Medicine (TROPMED) Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia 3: Department of General Internal Medicine, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 4: Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Public Health, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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